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This article is about electrical conductivity in general. For other types of conductivity, see Conductivity. For specific applications in electrical elements, see Electrical resistance and conductance.

Electrical resistivity (also known as resistivity, specific electrical resistance, or volume resistivity) is an intrinsic property that quantifies how strongly a given material opposes the flow of electric current. A low resistivity indicates a material that readily allows the movement of electric charge. Resistivity is commonly represented by the Greek letter ρ (rho). The SI unit of electrical resistivity is the ohmmetre (Ω⋅m) although other units like ohmcentimetre (Ω⋅cm) are also in use. As an example, if a 1 m × 1 m × 1 m solid cube of material has sheet contacts on two opposite faces, and the resistance between these contacts is 1 Ω, then the resistivity of the material is 1 Ω⋅m.

Electrical conductivity or specific conductance is the reciprocal of electrical resistivity, and measures a material's ability to conduct an electric current. It is commonly represented by the Greek letter σ (sigma), but κ (kappa) (especially in electrical engineering) or γ (gamma) are also occasionally used. Its SI unit is siemens per metre (S/m) and CGSE unit is reciprocal second (s).

Another related quantity, widely used in the literature of plasma physics, is the magnetic diffusivity defined as  \eta=\rho/\mu_0\equiv 1/\sigma \mu_0 where \mu_0 is the magnetic permeability. The unit of the magnetic diffusivity, in SI, is mA^2 \Omega N^{-1}.


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